New Community Website

Ordinarily, you'd be at the right spot, but we've recently launched a brand new community website... For the community, by the community.

Yay... Take Me to the Community!

The Community Blog is a personal opinion of community members and by no means the official standpoint of DNN Corp or DNN Platform. This is a place to express personal thoughts about DNNPlatform, the community and its ecosystem. Do you have useful information that you would like to share with the DNN Community in a featured article or blog? If so, please contact .

The use of the Community Blog is covered by our Community Blog Guidelines - please read before commenting or posting.

DNN Future Technology Vision

By definition, technology is constantly changing and evolving. We are obsessed with thinking of ways to apply newer and better technology to solve existing problems, from improving productivity and efficiency in some industries to completely disrupting others. At times, it can actually be quite difficult to fully comprehend the current information technology landscape. Trends emerge and often enjoy a relatively short life span before they are displaced by the next significant IT challenge or innovation. As a result, it is really difficult to create a technology product that is capable of delivering value to customers over the long term. It requires both a laser sharp focus on what is vitally important today, as well as a good understanding of where the industry is headed and where the future opportunities exist.

Over the past decade DNN has been able to build a solid reputation as a dependable platform for building enterprise applications and websites. It is a platform that has undergone many significant evolutions in its lifetime but has always been able to successfully adapt because it has stayed true to its core strengths - a loosely coupled multi-tenant architecture that focuses on flexibility and extensibility. This ability to adapt to any scenario has allowed DNN to remain highly valuable to its users and customers over time. It has also allowed it to utilize nearly every major innovation that has emerged in the web development and design realm. With this in mind, we are looking towards the future for areas of opportunity where we can allow our customers to continue to capitalize on their investments in DNN.

One of the more popular technology trends to emerge in recent years is a focus on lean software platforms and architectures that separate the back-end services from the applications that users interact with. The outcome is a win for both the IT side and the business side: IT can focus on building solid foundations for complex systems, and the business gets platforms that allow for an increased focus on custom software that enables rapid iterations to deliver solutions to fast-changing market conditions. In order to realize this goal, you need a platform that is both modular and service-oriented.

DNN has always been modular. In fact it is the modular nature of DNN which has allowed it to cultivate such an active commercial ecosystem. Customers can quickly locate modular apps that perform a particular business function, and combine them like puzzle pieces, into “solutions” that can deliver more complex business requirements. The fact that many apps are available as on-demand components significantly reduces the need for complex custom software development, decreasing the time to market and increasing the return on investment. DNN also has a Service Framework which is based on Microsoft's Web API framework. It allows you to create apps using service-oriented techniques, and we are already using it extensively within DNN today to deliver highly responsive and secure user experiences.

So it would apear that DNN is perfectly positioned to capitalize on this industry trend. However, in order to deliver the full set of modern capabilities that customers require, we do need to make some additional technology investments...

Specifically, we want to improve both the modular and service-oriented nature of DNN and provide more options for customers and vendors to extend the capabilities of the platform. We plan to introduce some new methodologies that allow you to leverage modern web development techniques such as MVC and Single Page Applications ( SPA ) natively within DNN. And we want to expose more of the extensive DNN API through secure web services so that it can be leveraged by a wide variety of clients and devices. Lastly, we are paying attention to Microsoft's technology roadmap as well so that we can position ourselves to take advantage of the lean and high performance aspects of ASP.NET vNext ( Project K ). And more importantly, we intend to make these evolutionary changes in a way which still retains full compatibility with the apps and websites that you are building today.

This is a very exciting time for DNN, and we plan to share more detailed information about our progress in the coming months. Initially we are doing research on enabling a side-by-side run-time support model for both WebForms and MVC - codenamed "Project MaVeriCK".


Marcio Maciel
Hi Shaun. These are great news!

My two cents: DNN should focus on reducing memory usage and processing, removing everything that is not essential.

I use DNN since version 4, and after creating hundreds of sites I realized that:
* 99% are single-portal;
* 98% use only one language;
* 90% have no user registration;
* 95% do not use inline functions as a newsletter or banners;
* 99% never change the theme, after replacing the default theme.

A website with 5 pages, some pictures and contact form occupies 300mb on the server. The DNN730 already took a big step toward optimization of hosting resources, but this should be a more ambitious goal, enabling pay as little as possible in Cloud Hosting Services that charge for memory usage.

I imagine a strategy of total separation between the core and internal modules that may be used or not. Something like allowing choose between standard or minimal installation. In minimal installation would not be installed optional modules like Newsletter, Vendors / Banners, Language Editor, User Profile, Journal, Dashboard, SQL, among others.

But these modules are still in ZIP files, the Install folder, allowing the administrator to install them, use them, and uninstall them anytime. And the administration pages that use these modules will continue to be created at installation time, showing a message that a particular module should be installed.

DNN9, perhaps? =)

Marcio Maciel Wednesday, July 2, 2014 11:05 PM (link)
Mad Marcus
Hi Shaun,

While I agree with Marcio on some points relating to the need for DNN to be leaner I find some of the figures he quotes totally at odds with ours, especially the use of portals within a single installation.

We have also used DNN since version 4 and have also built 100's of sites but without sitting down and actually working it out I think our typical usage would be more like:
* 99% multi-portal
* 99% one language (although that is something that could change at any time)
* 25% have user registration
* 85% use banners, newsletters or other 'inline functions'
* 50% will have the skin changed within the first 2 years

Obviously if using the installation in a multi-portal way then you leverage the built-in functionality across multiple sites so the amount of server space required is better optimised and I don't think excessive.

I guess it just shows how versatile DNN is when it can be used in such totally different ways.

To the future.

Mad Marcus Thursday, July 3, 2014 7:11 PM (link)
Daniel Mettler
Hi Shaun & All
This is a great step forward. Especially the stronger MVC-Focus will mean that clean, perfect HTML is around the corner. Go Razor!
If I may modify the stats a bit...
* 99% single portal
* 20% multi language (Switzerland/Europe...)
* never used widgets (I think they are dead)
* 98% output-oriented (almost no end-user applications requiring input other than contact-forms)
Daniel Mettler Thursday, July 10, 2014 11:22 AM (link)
Shaun Walker
I appreciate folks sharing their usage experience, and it clear from the examples provided that there is no "standard" configuration of what is essential vs. non-essential. We know that each customer and implementer uses DNN in very different ways. Some take advantage of all the functionality offered and others take advantage of very specific features. With that in mind our goal is to focus on how to make everyone successful by ensuring we provide the flexibility so that anyone can customize the platform to meet their specific business objectives.
Shaun Walker Thursday, July 10, 2014 3:16 PM (link)

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